Aeolus - First ever Satellite to Measure Wind Patterns Globally

Aeolus – First ever Satellite to Measure Wind Patterns Globally

Aeolus mission is the space mission to obtain the wind pattern across the globe. It is aimed at the real-time understanding of the accuracy of weather and climate prediction of the tropical pattern of the factors responsible for climate changes. Many facets of our lives depend on the weather. Without any doubt, lots of our activities like agriculture, farming, fishing, construction, and transport depend on accurate weather forecasts. It becomes a lot easier to plan these activities under correct weather predictions. These correct weather predictions will enable us to prevent loss of precious lives and property.

Scientists across the globe are putting a lot of efforts to understand the wind profiles in order to provide accurate weather forecasts. Aeolus is the fifth in the series of earth explorer missions of ESA expected to provide vital statistics to the scientists to acquire breakthrough technologies to overcome the challenges faced by the scientific community. The name Aeolus has been derived from the name Aeolus, “keeper of the winds” appointed by the Greek Gods according to the mythology. The satellite designed for the purpose is all set to be launched into the orbit on Tuesday from the French Guiana Arianespace launch site.

The wind patterns at the tropics are always a concern for the scientists owing to the lack of accurate data. But now that the space satellite Aeolus once deployed in the orbit of the earth, will transmit the data from any place across the globe. The satellite will be accompanied by a huge telescope measuring 1.5 meters, an ultra-sensitive receiver along with a Doppler wind lidar called Aladin.

The role of the doppler is to transmit short and powerful pulses of laser light aimed towards the earth in the ultraviolet spectrum. The presence of particles, moisture, dust and gases in the atmosphere disperse a small fragment of the said light energy back to the device in order to receive and record. The gap between the outgoing signal and reversal to the device will portray the direction of the wind, its pattern and distance traveled. The recorded data will be downloaded to the ground station in Svalbard, Norway. The data not only will help meteorologists inaccurate predictions but also will help the research on the climate change in future.

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